Due to the competitive prices, many quartz wholesalers/fabricators will choose to buy quartz slabs or quartz countertops/worktops directly from China or Vietnam. Although it has become convenient and efficient to import quartz from abroad, it’s essential to fully understand how this works; what costs are involved, how to deliver, etc.

As a new quartz importer, you might think that importing is complicated. But in fact, it’s not if you know the basics behind the process – payment, shipping, taxes, and customs.  I’ll try to cover most of the important aspects here.

When you buy quartz countertops/worktops or quartz slabs from China or Vietnam, you’ll usually go through these 4 processes: ordering, inspection, shipping, and get goods from destination port to door. Here’s the process flow:

1. Ordering

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Inquire

Check online or attend some stone fairs to find your quartz suppliers. Send an inquiry (request for a price quotation) based on the colors, size, and quantity of the quartz slabs or countertops you need

Sampling

Ask for quartz samples from the potential suppliers for reviewing colors and quality

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Trial Order

Determine the final cooperative quartz supplier and start with a small quantity of trial order. Discuss ordering details including colors, quantity, prices, delivery time, and payment terms.

You might need: How to choose the right supplier when buying quartz stone slabs and quartz countertops/worktops?

Proforma Invoice

The supplier will then provide a proforma invoice with the following details:

Ordering Items: quartz slabs/countertops, colors, sizes, surface finish, edge profile, quantity, unit price, and amount, etc.

Ordering Terms: quality term, leading time, pricing term, payment term, delivery term

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Order Confirmed & Deposit

Sign and seal to confirm the proforma invoice of the trial order to the quartz supplier after all details are settled.

Pay the deposit according to the payment term then the supplier will proceed into production. For international payment methods, there’re several options. Please check here.

2. Inspection

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Inspect in Person

You can visit your quartz suppliers and inspect the goods yourself.  This is a good way to get to know more about your supplier intuitively. Meanwhile, meeting and communication will promote further cooperation between the two parties in the future. A trip to China or Vietnam costs around $3000.

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Invitation Letter

Inform your quartz supplier that you’ll visit and inspect the goods yourself. The supplier will prepare an invitation letter for you to apply for the visa.

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Apply for Visa

Use the invitation letter from the supplier to go to the local Chinese embassy to apply for a business visa

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Do Your Inspection

Do your general factory inspections and pre-shipment inspection at the same time.

For quartz slabs inspection, you might need: How to identify the quality of quartz stone?

For quartz countertops inspection, you might need: How to inspect the quality of quartz countertops?

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Inspection Agent

You can entrust an inspection agent to inspect the goods for you without the large costs associated with a trip to China. There’s a lot of inspection companies providing third-party inspection services, such as SGS, CIC. The prices start from $120 to $300 and more, per man per day.

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Inspection Notice

When the quartz products are ready to do the inspection, inform your quartz supplier that you would like to inspect the goods using a 3rd party inspection service. Then fix the inspection date.

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Inspection Order

Choose the 3rd party inspection company and order an inspection service you needed online. You can ask for anything specific you want the inspector to pay close attention to.

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Inspection Report

An inspection report will be sent over after the inspection is done. You can evaluate the quality of the goods by it.

3. Shipping

Shipping Way

Your quartz supplier will usually give you FOB (Free On Board) price, which means the goods are loaded onto the ship. You will be responsible for shipping from China or Vietnam to your country.

The price can also be CNF/CIF (Cost and Freight/Cost, Insurance and Freight), which means the price is including sea freight, then your quartz supplier will be responsible for the shipping.

For more information about shipping and loading, please check: FAQ for Shipping & Delivery

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Booking Shipping

Check the freight forwarder companies (shipping agents) and ask them to quote for door-to-door delivery which includes all the fees associated with sea freight shipping. Choose a good scheme according to your time and cost requests. Then book the shipping and inform your quartz supplier.

For the importing fees, you can also check: How much will it cost to import quartz stone and quartz countertops from China?

Loading

Your quartz supplier will book for space accordingly and load the goods into the container. Loading pictures will be sent to you to show that the goods have been loaded well. Meanwhile, a full set of documents including a packing list, an invoice and a draft bill of lading will be given to you to check the information.

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Export Customs Clearance

The quartz supplier will arrange the export declaration (customs clearance) of the goods. After customs clearance, the shipping company will load all containers on board and start moving.

Balance Payment

The quartz supplier will show a copy of the bill of lading provided by the shipping company to you to pay the balance. After the balance is successfully paid, the supplier will telex-release the goods to you or send the original bill of lading to you.

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4. Destination Port to Door

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Import Customs Clearance

When the goods are about to arrive at the destination port, the freight forwarder will notify you to prepare documents for picking up and customs clearance. It includes the packing list, invoice, bill of lading (original bill of lading or telex bill of lading), and customs declaration form required by the customs. Once the goods arrive, the freight forwarder will organize the process.

To Door Delivery

Once the goods are released, you will have to pay the sea freight, destination port fees,  tax or duty, etc to get the goods. And then organize the delivery to your warehouse.

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Payment methods:

Wire Transfer – also known as T/T (Telegraphic Transfer). It’s sending money from your bank account to the supplier’s bank account. It is the most common payment method used in B2B transactions. The transfer fee is around $30-$50 and usually takes up to 5 working days.

Transfer Wiseit’s​ an international money transfer method. This transfer company always converts money at the mid-market exchange rate – ie. the rate you see on Google is the rate you’ll receive. It could save you a substantial amount of money if you’re looking to make frequent transfers to your quartz suppliers.

L/C (Letter of Credit) – a payment method used in international trade to provide an economic guarantee from a creditworthy bank. It uses banks as an intermediary party to mitigate the risk a seller of goods takes when providing those goods to a buyer and a buyer takes when making payment to the seller. The issuing fees will vary from bank to bank with around $200~$500. It’s usually used for orders with large amounts.

I hope this will help some customers who just start to import quartz from China or Vietnam. Any other questions, please feel free to contact [email protected]